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Where to take a 15 yo budding "foodie" for her birthday?

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Likes almost all kinds of foods, don't want to break the bank, but would like to make it special. In Boston or Cambridge.

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  1. Tico, Coppa, Craigie on Main, Bon Chon, OM, or Market.

    www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

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    Craigie on Main
    853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

    Coppa
    253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

    Tico
    222 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116

    1 Reply
    1. re: scotty27

      Thanks. Love Craigie, but a little too expensive. And we just went there for my birthday!

    2. My foodie son loved Little Q Hot Pot in East Arlington. We went for lunch and including beverages and a generous tip, I think the bill came to the low $30s. We had a great time and the food was fantastic.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/768018

      1 Reply
      1. re: three of us

        This is exactly what I was going to recommend, though I would maybe go to one of the options in Chinatown to make it a little more "special". My 15year old self would have been thrilled with hotpot for my birthday.

      2. Toro or Solea (spanish tapas, lots of things to taste and explore).

        2 Replies
        1. re: Boston_Otter

          That's a good idea. We've never been to Toro, she loves tapas, and we were kind of disappointed in Solea the last time we went. Thanks!

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          Toro
          1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

          1. re: MWTrio

            Took my son and two of his friends to Toro when my son turned 12. My son's friends aren't foodies, my son has been eating anything and everything placed in front of him, with discernment, since he was 4. They all loved it; my son's friends were at first a bit scared, but they relaxed and enjoyed everything (one said it was the best restaurant meal he'd ever had). Even got them to try the octopus!

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            Toro
            1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

        2. A 15 y.o. budding foodie of my acquaintance was recently knocked out (as were we all) by the vegetarian tasting menu at Ten Tables in Cambridge. The rest of us ordered the non-veggie tasting menu, which was very good, but hers was better across the board and a huge bargain at $30 (4 courses). Fun vibe, too.

          Another possibility is Kebab Factory in Somerville (near Cambridge line) -- it is not as special-occasiony but the food is great and the vibe is fun -- teenagers I have taken there loved it.

          Shiki in Brookline is another possibility -- think Japanese tapas -- you can try lots of different things and I've not had a miss there. Nice dining room too.

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          Shiki
          9 Babcock Street, Brookline, MA 02446

          The Kebab Factory
          414 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

          Ten Tables
          5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

          1 Reply
          1. re: GretchenS

            +1 on Ten Tables. We did nearly the exact same thing, took a 15 y.o. budding foodie to Ten Tables JP, and we all had the veggie tasting menu. Very interesting, very high quality, and had a certain "excitement" with no one knowing what we'd get until it arrived.

            It was a big hit.

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            Ten Tables
            5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

          2. have u asked her where she wants to go?

            1. Gran Gusto would be my pick. Have a margerita pizza and change her image of pizza forever. :) I think the food it familiar yet very good.

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              Gran Gusto
              90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

              1. We took a teenage relative to Coppa and she loved it

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                Coppa
                253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                1. This precise question has already been answered - Bergamot -

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/725138

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    That would be my rec also!

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      Yep, I posted that and my now nearly-16 year old loved Bergamot. She also adores Oleana. If she's bringing her friends, I'd go for Oleana, as there are lots of small plates to share.

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                      Oleana
                      134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                    2. Haven't been there for a long time, but what about Baraka Cafe in Cambridge? Fairly casual, not a fine dining place, but special in terms of an atmosphere and menu you won't find in many other places.

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                      Baraka Cafe
                      80 Pearl St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                      1. Oleana!

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                        Oleana
                        134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ebone

                          and the veg tasting menu is fabulous, and a good bargain. you can order some meat/fish veg mezze to supplement and extra diesserts. If you order two veg tastings, you get 10 different dishes.

                        2. All good ideas above. Another suggestion is Eastern Standard; they have good mocktails and you can have try a lot for a little with their charcuterie plate and some offal. Good vibe too

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                          Eastern Standard
                          528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JoeM

                            Both Oleana and Bergamot will do fun mocktails. We all remember the fabulous drink they served my daughter at Oleana.

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                            Oleana
                            134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                          2. The last chance I had to do something like this for a young, aspiring food nerd, I conducted a lengthy Chow crawl, in part based on many wonderful suggestions I first solicited on this board. Here's the follow-up report: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/645226 I think it had a bigger educational and inspirational impact than going to one fancier restaurant, and didn't cost much more. But it did take several days.

                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                              Great list MC. I've done similar things myself with younger people interested in food, but more focused, both in Boston (North End, Chinatown, e.g.) and Manhattan (Chinatown, Village, Lower East Side, Hell's Kichen). These food tours tend to go down well, and they're more active than sitting for three hours over a fancy meal.

                              To the OP: a lot would depend on what your "foodie" likes and where she's already eaten. In our case places as diverse as East Coast Grill, T.W.Food, Prezza, Taiwan Cafe, and Shangri La have worked for special occasions (the last two strictly for the food).

                              -----
                              East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
                              1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                              Prezza
                              24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                This is great! Thanks for the link.

                              2. Toro! She can try lots of different dishes and the atmosphere/vibe is young and hip.

                                1. My own opinion is to go wtih something non-Western. Interactive food, like Little Q, as suggested, shabu-shabu, or Korean BBQ (unless she is a veggie) would be fun. Floating Rock (if it ever opens) or Shanghai Gate (nice atmosphere) would also be special and not-too-spendy. The Rod-Dee on Mass Ave in Porter Sq looks cute, too. Others have commented on the food.

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                                  Floating Rock
                                  485 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

                                  Shanghai Gate
                                  204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134